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The Public Pulse: Election wasn't rigged; Don't dismiss rural people; Don't overdo mandates

The Public Pulse: Election wasn't rigged; Don't dismiss rural people; Don't overdo mandates

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Election wasn’t rigged

I do not recall any “rigged” or “stolen” election being accomplished by anyone other than the incumbent of the office in question. Look at Putin in Russia, Lukashenko in Belarus, Maduro in Venezuela, many in Central Asian and African countries — they are people in office who do not wish to leave. Their opponents have not been able to “fix” or “rig” the elections in their respective countries.

When you consider the huge variety of ballots here in the United States in all the states and the subdivisions of those states with candidates for office for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, state legislatures, county offices, city offices, school boards and the various initiatives and referenda, it would be next to impossible to put together enough “fake” ballots to influence any race, let alone get the ballots into the hands of electors. It is time to get over the idea that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been chosen by any sort of rigged or stolen method. If that had been possible it seems that some Senate and House seats would have been included. So let’s get on with a normal transition from one president to the next and stop implying that the election is rigged or stolen.

Elaine Beard, Omaha

Don’t dismiss rural people

During this election cycle there has been a lot of talk about the Electoral College and whether it’s still relevant and needed. Many folks say it should be scrapped and elections decided on a purely “majority rules” basis. If you need a reason to be in favor of the Electoral College, read the Pulse letter by Laird Loomis (“Nebraska is superior to Texas,” Nov. 11). Mr. Loomis, a former Nebraskan now living in San Antonio, states that President Trump got all of the Texas electoral votes even though Joe Biden won all the major cities, the problem being that “small town and rural voters” voted for Trump. He then goes on to laud Omaha voters who were able to rescue themselves from the “great sea of Midwestern misinformation and indifference” and cast an electoral vote for Biden. So in Mr. Loomis’ mind we poor ignorant citizens, hicks from small towns and farms in Nebraska and Texas, can’t make an informed decision as to who we want for president. We’re mostly indifferent, content to plant corn and slop hogs and easily swayed by any huckster who tells us how to vote or wants to sell us a rain-making machine. Make no mistake, this is how the vast majority of “city slickers” view the rural citizens of this country. We’re nice enough, but a little slow, not really dangerous, but not to be trusted with a sharp knife or a presidential vote. If we do away with the Electoral College, all I can say to the rest of us slow-witted Midwesterners is “Run, Forrest! Run.”

Bruce Sprain, Glenwood, Iowa

Protect school funding

Congratulations to all the state senators elected this month. I wish you well as you tackle the state’s issues over the next four years. Unfortunately, the 106th Legislature left you a fiscal time bomb when they enacted Legislative Bill 1107 in August. The bill, signed and applauded by the governor, enacted a projected $700 million in expenditures over several years with no new revenue stream to support it. The bill supports property tax credits, economic development incentives and dollars for the NExT project at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I support all three initiatives, but at some point, the invoice will arrive.

When that occurs, you will have a difficult choice: return to the tax levels pre LB 1107 or cut items from the state budget. I urge you, in fact I beg you, to protect state aid to schools and Nebraskans who live in poverty and receive Medicaid. Since those budget expenses are large dollar amounts, they will be early targets for those who refuse to consider increased revenue as a solution to cover the expense of LB 1107.

I wish the 107th Legislature great luck. There will be tough issues to problem solve, and the best approach is to consider your options and pick the ones that make our state and all our people better.

Chuck Chevalier, Springfield

Importance of masks

I read with interest about the No-Mask Omaha group that believes that masks are worthless and the insistence by nearly every medical person on earth that they be worn is more about control, a block on our personal liberty, than personal safety. So I’ll say this to the No Maskers: Put aside the coronavirus for a moment and think about every surgery you’ve ever seen or had. Were the surgeon and nurses wearing masks? Of course they were. Ever wonder why? Because masks nearly eliminate the risks of infection. If you were being wheeled into an operating room for heart surgery, wouldn’t you feel safer if everyone was masked up?

If the millions of Americans who think it’s about control continue to go about without masks, vaccine or not, since millions won’t trust the vaccine, it may fall to your grandchildren to stop this pandemic.

Millions of Americans refuse to make this small sacrifice for a few months to free up our hospitals and save lives. Such is American Exceptionalism in the 21st century.

Bob Bastarache, Omaha

Wanting our freedoms

Freedom! My governor doesn’t wear a mask in a bar. Why should I? Freedom! Why should I have to wear a seat belt? Freedom! Why was I subjected to the draft during Vietnam and served in the U.S. Army? Freedom! Why did my parents submit to rationing during WWII? Freedom! Why does the baby have to get vaccinations? Freedom! Why do we have to pay income tax? Freedom! Freedom? Or the common good?

Robert Sigler, Omaha

Mandate only at lowest levels

Our ancestors didn’t react to cholera, anthrax, typhoid or a myriad of other diseases like we have. We have let our leaders convince us to hide in holes and be fearful.

As a Christian, I’m not fearful. Though at the same time, I’m not reckless either. I wear masks (and have for over 20 years) and social distant myself when I think it prudent. I clean more thoroughly when peaks in my local area exist. My safety, both physically, medically and socially, is my responsibility.

Government direction on my means of providing for the safety of myself and my family should be at the lowest level, or better yet the individual. For this reason, I applaud President Trump for not mandating national citizen actions. I also applaud Governor Ricketts for not mandating the same. It should be up to the individual citizens and, if necessary, the city, village, town or county as the lowest level of government.

As for the vaccine, not a single administration in my 66 years on earth could have done what this administration did. President Trump removed regulatory barriers to a rapid vaccine development and gave financial incentives to companies to speed development.

Steven Wiseman, Bellevue

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